Upper Paleolithic  

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Lascaux, cave man

The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. Very broadly it dates to between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago, roughly coinciding with the appearance of "high" culture (behavioral modernity) and before the advent of agriculture. The terms "Late Stone Age" and "Upper Paleolithic" refer to the same periods. For historical reasons, "Stone Age" usually refers to the period in Africa, whereas "Upper Paleolithic" is generally used when referring to the period in Europe. In 19th century archaeology, the Upper Paleolithic was also known as the "Reindeer Age".



50 000 BC

50,000 BC


  • At Ksar Akil in Lebanon, ornaments and skeletal remains of modern humans are dated to this period.

40 000 BC

40,000—35,000 BC

35,000 BC

  • Zar, Yataghyeri, Damjili and Taghlar caves in Azerbaijan.

32,000 BC

  • Europeans understand how to harden clay figures by firing them in an oven at high temperatures.

30,000 BC

  • Invention of the bow and arrow.
  • end of the Mousterian Pluvial in North Africa

30,000 BC—26,000 BC

30 000 BC

29,000—25,000 BC

28,000 BC

  • People start to live in Japan.

25,000 BC—17,000 BC

24,000 BC

23,000 BC

22,000 BC

20,000 BC

  • end of the second Mousterian Pluvial in North Africa.

20 000 BC

18,000 BC—15,000 BC

  • Last Glacial Maximum. Mean Sea Levels are believed to be 110 to 120 meters (361 to 394 ft) lower than present, with the direct implication that many coastal and lower riverine valley archaeological sites of interest are today under water.

18,000 BC

18,000 BC—11,000 BC

  • Ibex-headed spear thrower, from Le Mas d'Azil, Ariege, France, is made. It is now at Musee de la Prehistoire, Le Mas d'Azil.

18,000 BC—12,000 BC

17,000 BC

17,000 BC—15,000 BC

16,500 BC

  • Paintings in Cosquer cave, where the cave mouth is now under water at Cap Margiou, France were made.

15,000 BC

16 000 BC

15,000 BC-12,000 BC

14,000 BC

13,000 BC

12 000 BC

11,500 BC—10,000 BC

11,000 BC

  • First evidence of human settlement in Argentina.
  • The Arlington Springs Man dies on the island of Santa Rosa, off the coast of California.
  • Human remains deposited in caves which are now located off the coast of Yucatán.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Upper Paleolithic" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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